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Subject: Emergency After-Hours Calls
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Author Messages
RoseM9
(Texas)

Posts:18


07/27/2021 6:10 PM  
Until this month, we have been small enough to handle emergency after-hours calls personally (yes, waking up at 3am to deal with a broken pipe).


At this point, we need to get a good after-hours process set up.


Is there a system or process that anyone would recommend to handle emergency calls after-hours?





Thank you in advance.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


07/27/2021 6:24 PM  
If you have a property manager, he or she should have an on-call manager you can use.

If you're self managed, you may need to rotate among the board to designate some as on-call" manager (no more than a week at a time). You should also define what constitutes an emergency - something that's an immediate threat or safety would be a start and your association master insurance can help you develop a policy and definition.

Since we're talking about association responsibility, he sure this policy only applies to the areas the association's responsible for. This would also be a good time to remind homeowners they need to keep their individual policies current and make sure they notify the board of they notice the need for repairs in the common area and not assume it's already been reported. Regular maintenance and monitoring can prevent emergencies from happening.
RoseM9
(Texas)

Posts:18


07/27/2021 6:35 PM  
Thank you SheliaH. Sorry for any confusion, but we are a smaller management company. We started this year, and although everyone is satisfied with our response time (all hours of the day/night), we are at the point that we need to find a professional solution.



SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4291


07/28/2021 6:54 AM  
In that case, you may want to review what type of calls have come in over the last 6 months or so to look for trends. If this is an issue with all your clients, you may need to determine who seems to be calling more often and why. For example, if community A has had a lot of broken pipes, they may have an underlying problem that needs a long-term solution. The board should be advised of that and they can decide what they want to do.

There are a few property managers who post regularly on this website (Max, Bill, Barbara are three that immediately come to mind), and they may have suggestions as well.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:295


07/28/2021 7:20 AM  
We are a 40 year old, stacked housing (2 story) condo community. The only emergency that we need to deal with urgently is always plumbing related because those cause the most damage in shortest amount of time.

"You don't have water" not an emergency. "You don't have heat/AC", not an emergency or an HOA issue in our case.

Running water between 2 units is always an emergency.

When you find an after hours call company, set the parameters for an emergency situation for when they call you.

We have developed a relationship with a reliable plumbing company who is always our "first call". They know our plumbing and where our cut-offs are located.

Fire and criminal activity need to be reported directly to 911.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


07/28/2021 7:46 AM  
Rose

The approach to an emergency is not to call BOD Members. Establish a relationship with vendors who are the ones one needs to contact. Publish and distribute this list to each owner. In an emergency the owner should be calling the vendor, not a BOD Member.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/28/2021 8:39 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 07/28/2021 7:46 AM
Rose

The approach to an emergency is not to call BOD Members. Establish a relationship with vendors who are the ones one needs to contact. Publish and distribute this list to each owner. In an emergency the owner should be calling the vendor, not a BOD Member.



For real?
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/28/2021 9:29 AM  
From experience, the only emergencies I have ever had was flooding from a plumbing/sewer issue and fire. We have an after hours answering service and the call is routed to a manager who is on call. The management company should know who has responsibility for the leak, HOA or homeowner and that would need to be communicated during the return call. Depending on your coverage area, you may need several reliable plumbers that can be call at a moments notice.

But, whatever you do, don't call a BOD, they would have no ideal what to do.
ND
(PA)

Posts:637


07/28/2021 6:06 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 07/28/2021 9:29 AM
From experience, the only emergencies I have ever had was flooding from a plumbing/sewer issue and fire. We have an after hours answering service and the call is routed to a manager who is on call. The management company should know who has responsibility for the leak, HOA or homeowner and that would need to be communicated during the return call. Depending on your coverage area, you may need several reliable plumbers that can be call at a moments notice.

But, whatever you do, don't call a BOD, they would have no ideal what to do.



Yes, all Directors are morons without a clue! Only intelligent life-form in an HOA organization is the Management Company!

This is the absurd perspective of an owner of a Management Company and the mentality that is continually pushed at all opportunities to further justify the need for, reliance upon, and continual payments to . . . a Management Company.

Don't get me wrong, there are many times when a MC is helpful, necessary, and well worth the money. But to categorize all HOA Board of Directors as incompetent ("no idea what to do") is unfair, absurd, and grossly inaccurate. Sure there are some incompetent Directors; however, there are just as many incompetent Managers and MCs. Jack (who is no longer a contributor here) seemed to have one of those Managers/MCs.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/28/2021 7:10 PM  
Posted By ND on 07/28/2021 6:06 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 07/28/2021 9:29 AM
From experience, the only emergencies I have ever had was flooding from a plumbing/sewer issue and fire. We have an after hours answering service and the call is routed to a manager who is on call. The management company should know who has responsibility for the leak, HOA or homeowner and that would need to be communicated during the return call. Depending on your coverage area, you may need several reliable plumbers that can be call at a moments notice.

But, whatever you do, don't call a BOD, they would have no ideal what to do.



Yes, all Directors are morons without a clue! Only intelligent life-form in an HOA organization is the Management Company!

This is the absurd perspective of an owner of a Management Company and the mentality that is continually pushed at all opportunities to further justify the need for, reliance upon, and continual payments to . . . a Management Company.

Don't get me wrong, there are many times when a MC is helpful, necessary, and well worth the money. But to categorize all HOA Board of Directors as incompetent ("no idea what to do") is unfair, absurd, and grossly inaccurate. Sure there are some incompetent Directors; however, there are just as many incompetent Managers and MCs. Jack (who is no longer a contributor here) seemed to have one of those Managers/MCs.



Wow, you wrote that long winded reply to just the last line that was posted. In case you missed it, you did, it was directed, as a joke, to JohnC.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/28/2021 8:07 PM  
I agree with you, ND. Max actually does have good advice from time to time, but he seems to prefer the role of class-a$$ clown with his soooo clever comebacks.
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:589


07/28/2021 8:14 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 07/28/2021 7:46 AM
Rose

The approach to an emergency is not to call BOD Members. Establish a relationship with vendors who are the ones one needs to contact. Publish and distribute this list to each owner. In an emergency the owner should be calling the vendor, not a BOD Member.




I don’t know of any vendor that commonly works with HOAs who would perform services without the authorization of a manager or board member.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/28/2021 8:35 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 07/28/2021 8:07 PM
I agree with you, ND. Max actually does have good advice from time to time, but he seems to prefer the role of class-a$$ clown with his soooo clever comebacks.



And your contributions are based on agreeing with so and so.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1601


07/28/2021 9:19 PM  
Posted By ND on 07/28/2021 6:06 PM
Posted By MaxB4 on 07/28/2021 9:29 AM
From experience, the only emergencies I have ever had was flooding from a plumbing/sewer issue and fire. We have an after hours answering service and the call is routed to a manager who is on call. The management company should know who has responsibility for the leak, HOA or homeowner and that would need to be communicated during the return call. Depending on your coverage area, you may need several reliable plumbers that can be call at a moments notice.

But, whatever you do, don't call a BOD, they would have no ideal what to do.



Yes, all Directors are morons without a clue! Only intelligent life-form in an HOA organization is the Management Company!

This is the absurd perspective of an owner of a Management Company and the mentality that is continually pushed at all opportunities to further justify the need for, reliance upon, and continual payments to . . . a Management Company.

Don't get me wrong, there are many times when a MC is helpful, necessary, and well worth the money. But to categorize all HOA Board of Directors as incompetent ("no idea what to do") is unfair, absurd, and grossly inaccurate. Sure there are some incompetent Directors; however, there are just as many incompetent Managers and MCs. Jack (who is no longer a contributor here) seemed to have one of those Managers/MCs.



And exactly what was the criteria that made you state that Jack's manager/MC was incompetent? IF, you had taken the time to read JohnC's comments, he said don't bother to call a Board Member. If you are self managed who do you call? As Barbara pointed out, vendors are going to want the go-ahead from a manager or Board member, unless from your experience of managing properties you have a different take.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


07/29/2021 1:17 PM  
I often say I "agree" with a poster so as not to repeat the verbiage but to support the advice so the OP won't think just one person has the advice.
RoseM9
(Texas)

Posts:18


08/06/2021 11:59 AM  
Thank you everyone for your replies.

We will be very specific with the scripts we provide to the after-hours call service, and we will base the actions taken from conversations with the board (ie., pre-approve emergency work under certain conditions, etc.). If board members wish to be notified overnight of issues, we would include them to the list of contacts.


Emergencies (day or night) are typically plumbing related.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


08/06/2021 2:05 PM  
Posted By RoseM9 on 08/06/2021 11:59 AM
Thank you everyone for your replies.

We will be very specific with the scripts we provide to the after-hours call service, and we will base the actions taken from conversations with the board (ie., pre-approve emergency work under certain conditions, etc.). If board members wish to be notified overnight of issues, we would include them to the list of contacts.


Emergencies (day or night) are typically plumbing related.



Rose

Then establish a working relationship with a plumbing company, one offering 24 hour service, and have owners contact the plumbing company direct.
FloridaC1
(Florida)

Posts:27


08/15/2021 3:49 PM  
Your emergencies after hours are solely: blood, flood or fire. If you have elevators, maybe if there isn't another one available.
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